Water Monitoring

Aquatic Invasive Species

Education & Outreach

Cost-Share Program


Water Monitoring

Monitoring is an essential part of the District's annual work in the watershed. The data from monitoring allow the District to assess progress toward watershed goals, identify areas for restoration or enhancement, and determine the effectiveness of water quality projects.


The District's monitoring efforts began in 2005 with the assistance of the Washington Conservation District (WCD). The WCD assisted in developing a baseline monitoring program that continues to this day. To see the Program's Standard Operating Procedures, click here. In 2012, the District completed a comprehensive monitoring plan which can be accessed here. Most recently, the District has begun a cutting edge low-cost staff-lead diagnostic monitoring program aimed at identifying future project areas throughout the basin. These efforts will help ensure water quality and resource protection in the District for generations to come.

Monitoring Site at Little Comfort LakeMonitoring Site at Little Comfort Lake


To fulfill its monitoring needs, the CLFLWD uses a multi-partnership approach. The District works with both volunteers and consultants, and partners with the Metropolitan Council. In 2020 the District is on track to collect and analyze over 700 water samples from streams, ditches, lakes, wetlands, and past projects throughout the watershed. This is an increase of almost 75% over previous years, and at a lower cost than 2019. 


The CLFLWD works with volunteers on two monitoring programs; the Metropolitan Council's Citizen-Assisted Monitoring Program (CAMP) program and the Citizen Assisted Tributary program (CAT). CAMP volunteers monitor lake water quality by collecting water samples, taking Secchi transparencies and surface water temperature, and recording basic user perceptions and climate information. The samples are then analyzed for total phosphorus, total Kjeldahl nitrogen, and chlorophyll-a. CAT volunteers collect stream, ditch and culvert water samples for analysis of ortho-phosphate – a nutrient which can lead to excess algal growth in lakes. Working with volunteers not only results in a savings to the monitoring budget, but strengthens relationships between CLFLWD, local stakeholders, and the community.


The data from the District's monitoring program are forwarded to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) for permanently storage in the United States Environmental Protection Agency's national water quality database STORET (STOrage and RETrieval).


Data are public domain, and can be searched and downloaded from the MPCA's Environmental Information Management System  and data summaries and reports can be found on the District website.